Oakland’s NIMBY Space Needs Help

Oakland’s NIMBY Space Needs Help

NIMBY, a DIY space for artists and makers in West Oakland is re-locating and needs help to defray moving expenses and the cost of a security deposit. They are trying to raise $17,000 by December 15. Spaces like NIMBY are so important to creating the distinctive local culture in the Bay Area and other cities. They also establish a collaborative environment for all kinds of creative people to make things and share them with others. These spaces always struggle to make ends meet but they almost always survive, just barely. I’ve made a contribution on behalf of Make and Maker Faire, and I hope you’ll join me in supporting NIMBY.

For the past five years NIMBY has been a space where artists, craftsmen and tinkerers can create the new, the impossible, and the never seen before. Many of the pieces at Burning Man, Coachella, the Maker Faire and The Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival are created and stored at NIMBY.

NIMBY not only offers space to create, but supports its artists with resources, assistance in sourcing re-purposed material, as well as logistical and technical guidance. Snook, the founder of NIMBY, is known in the community as the one to call when technical or logistical issues seem insurmountable. This supportive culture shared by all members of the NIMBY community is at the root of the amazing art that emerges from its doors.

NIMBY has been the birthplace of Dance Dance Immolation, the Steam Punk Tree House, Colossus, The Kinetic SteamWorks Steam Ship, Norville Parchment’s Angel Series, and so much more. Fire Artists such as Therm, Interpretive Arson, Department of Spontaneous Combustion, Exotherm, Ryon Gesink, and Orion Fredericks have all created their pieces at NIMBY. At the new NIMBY we are working to create a 30,000 square foot event/ gallery space with permanent installations of works such as Michael Christian’s IT, The Steam Punk Tree House, Colossus and the Big Rig Jig.


The City of Oakland has been very supportive of our transition and is working with us closely. Trucking, architectural drawings, contractors, and materials are all lined-up to move in and build-out the new space. We also have 5 years of heart, gumption and making it work behind us – but we need your support of a financial contribution so that NIMBY can continue to serve the local arts community.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty


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